John Carmack Sues Zenimax Over Money Owed from Sale of id Software

Published: March 11, 2017 3:26 PM /


John Carmack Difference Engine

John Carmack, co-founder of id Software (best known for the games in the DOOMWolfenstein, and Quake series) and Oculus CTO, is suing Zenimax Media over money allegedly owed to him for the sale of id Software as reported by Dallas News.

The lawsuit involves the sale of id Software to Zenimax Media, a deal that took place in late June 2009. The terms of the deal were confidential at the time, but the court filing by John Carmack reveals some of the details of the sale. The legal paperwork states that Zenimax had agreed to pay $150 million for the acquisition of id Software. As part of that deal, they issued a convertible promissory note valued at $45.1 million to compensate Mr. Carmack for his majority ownership of id Software.

Half of the value of the convertible promissory note was converted into Zenimax stock. Mr. Carmack's lawsuit alleges that the company is not paying out the final installment of the note as either cash or company stock. The opposition council has stated that the legal claims are "completely without merit". They noted that a previous lawsuit on the matter rejected Mr. Carmack's claims that the company had violated his employment agreement.

This lawsuit is another front on the legal battles between Oculus executives such as Mr. Carmack and others. Oculus lost a $500 million lawsuit against the game publisher in a case involving the usage of VR technology and intellectual property. Although Oculus lost this particular case, Mr. Carmack himself was not found liable for misappropriation of trade secrets or copyright infringement as Zenimax Media had alleged. Zenimax has recently filed an injunction against Oculus to stop sales of Rift headsets, hardware, and development software as a follow-up to their victory in the preceding lawsuit.

What do you think of John Carmack suing Zenimax Media over money allegedly owed to him for the sale of id Software? Do you think Mr. Carmack's claim has merit, or do you think Zenimax is in the right here? Let us know in the comments below!


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